Interview date: 1.20.14
Melvin Rodrigue is President and CEO of Galatoire's Restaurant. Galatoire's, one of New Orleans' oldest and most venerable fine-dining restaurants, opened its doors in 1905 under the proprietorship of French native, Jean Galatoire. In 2006, Melvin introduced an innovation that patrons of Galatoire's quickly embraced: the restaurant began auctioning off tables for lunch on the Friday before Christmas and the Friday before Mardi Gras. Because of Galatoire's first come first served policy, during these popular holidays, people were lining up as early as Monday to secure seats for lunch on these special, sought-after Fridays. As a result, Melvin realized that an auction for coveted tables on these dates made sense. The money from the auctions goes to the Galatoire's Foundation that supports non-profit organizations throughout New Orleans. Proceeds from this year's auction will help Cafe Reconcile and the Idea Village. To date, the auctions have raised $900,000 and Melvin hopes this 2014 year will push the total over the $1 million mark. The 2014 Mardi Gras auction will be on Wednesday, January 29 at 215 Bourbon Street. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will start at 5:00pm and the auction will begin at 6:00pm. In this podcast, Melvin shares information about the auction and describes Galatoire's exciting expansion, including the restaurant's popular new steak house.
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